How To Get Out Of A Bad Date Without Being A Total Jerk

Here's how to make a quick exit without completely insulting someone.

bored woman on a bad date NDAB Creativity / shutterstock

In the world of romance and online dating, it can sometimes seem like bad dates happen more often than good ones do.

And everyone knows that there are few things worse than being stuck on a horrible date with someone you are not clicking with at all.

Whether your date is rude, the restaurant is terrible, or you're just clashing on everything, one thing is for sure: there's nothing you want more than to get out of there.


But how are you supposed to end a terrible date without seeming like a total jerk?

Sneaking out the back door is a cowardly move, not to mention incredibly rude. Stammering about how you have to run home to feed your cats is just plain obvious, and getting up and walking out while your date is in the bathroom isn't an option either.

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So what should you do when waiting out until the end seems impossible?

Here are 10 tips on how to get out of a bad date without being rude.

1. Have someone text you at a certain time with an "emergency."

Yes, a lot of people have caught onto this trick, but I think it's still worth doing because it's easy to make it seem authentic. Before the date, set this up with a friend. Have her text or call you at a certain time with an "emergency." If the date is going badly, say you have to leave. If it's going well, ignore the call. But make sure you make up an emergency that sounds legitimate so that you don't just say something like, "Oh man, my friend needs me right now... uh, gotta go, bye!"

2. Say you're not feeling well.

This is another fairly obvious excuse, but when you're complaining about stomach pains or period cramps, it's hard for your date to argue. Instead of faking a cough, head to the bathroom a few times, and then announce that you're not feeling great and you think it's best for you to go home.

3. Get a friend to crash the date.

If you want to do something a little less obvious, get a friend to come save you. Run to the bathroom, text a friend, and beg her to come by wherever you are as a "surprise." Once she gets there, let her play the part of the clingy third wheel, and then you two can eventually make it clear that the date is over.


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4. Drop hints that you're only interested in being friends.

If there's no real spark there, you can try to avoid the lies and excuses and attempt to be honest. Drop little hints that you're not interested in taking things further by saying something like, "I'm so glad we can become closer as friends." You can also say, "I just want you to know that I'm getting more of a friend vibe here. Do you feel it?" Chances are, your date will agree or just want to get out of there.

5. Act like you have plans later on.

If you don't have high hopes for the date, make it clear from the beginning that you can't be around for long that night by saying something like, "Just so you know, I have plans to meet a friend in two hours." That way you have a guaranteed out from the beginning.

6. If you're hesitant going into the date, plan something small and short.

If you feel like things aren't going to go well but you still want to give it a chance, plan something small for your date. Go for coffee instead of sitting down at a formal dinner, for example. This way it's easier to leave after only a short period of time, and you're not locked in at a table. And if you do end up having a good time, you can always suggest doing something else.


7. Try a bad date app.

If you don't want to rely on a friend to call you and get you out of a date, or you can't get in touch with someone to help you, try downloading the Bad Date Rescue app. It allows you to set up a rescue within three seconds, one minute, or five minutes and then calls you to give you an excuse to leave.

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8. Blame your family.

If you want to cancel a date before it even starts, use your family as an excuse. It's something I used to do all the time, and I felt like it was foolproof. Just say you need to help a family member with something, or you forgot you had a family dinner planned already.

9. Be politely honest and just say you're exhausted.

If your date wants things to continue, but you want to leave, just politely say you're completely shot and you need to get home. It's risky because they might try to talk you out of it, but just stick to your guns and be firm. Hopefully, they'll get the hint.


10. Be brutally honest.

Hey, sometimes honesty is the best policy - although usually not the easiest one. It's hard to say, "You know what, I just don't think this is working," but sometimes it's necessary. If you can do it, more props to you. This will end any future confusion or mixed signals.

RELATED: 10 Ways To Turn Down A Second Date Without Looking Like A Jerk

Jessica Booth is a writer who focuses on relationships, self-love, and celebrity news.